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Decisions
Robinson and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-133 (9 February 2022)
2021-133

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on Newshub Live at 6pm on 7 October 2021, reporting on criticism of National Party leader Hon Judith Collins in the Mood of the Boardroom survey, breached the balance and fairness standards by failing to refer to the survey’s criticism of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The Authority found the balance standard did not apply as the complaint did not concern a controversial issue of public importance. It further found the broadcast did not go beyond the level of robust scrutiny and political analysis that could reasonably be expected of the Leader of the Opposition, and therefore the fairness standard was not breached. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Love and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-157 (9 February 2022)
2021-157

An item on Newshub Live at 6pm covering COVID-19 statistics opened by stating 8% of New Zealand’s population was currently unvaccinated. The complainant alleged by omitting the term ‘eligible’, this introduction breached the accuracy standard as more than 8% (at the time) of New Zealand’s total population was unvaccinated. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the segment was materially accurate and a reasonable viewer would have understood the reference to the population, in a vaccination context, to be a reference to the eligible population. The programme information standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Programme Information...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-004 (25 May 2021)
2021-004

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a promo for Taranaki Hard. The Authority found the item was within audience expectations for a promo shown during an unclassified news programme. It did not actively promote or glamorise illegal behaviour nor was it likely to cause widespread undue offence or cause harm to children watching. Not Upheld: Law and Order, Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-005 (25 May 2021)
2021-005

The Authority did not uphold an accuracy complaint about a Newshub item describing a storm in Australia as a ‘one in 100 year storm’. The statement was a technical point unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the item as a whole. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
McCaughan and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-165 (25 May 2021)
2020-165

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the phrase ‘pissed off’ in the opening to a news item breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. The phrase was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or cause specific harm to a child audience. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests...

Decisions
McCaughan and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-166 (25 May 2021)
2020-166

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a news item reporting on the Rt Hon Winston Peters’ likelihood of not returning to Parliament after the General Election. The item did not discuss a controversial issue, so the balance standard did not apply. It was not unfair to Mr Peters, given his position as an elected public figure and experience dealing with the media. Coverage of political issues close to Election Day is not in itself a breach of broadcasting standards. Not Upheld: Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Taylor and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-024 (26 April 2022)
2022-024

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive The Authority has not upheld a complaint that action taken by Discovery NZ Ltd was insufficient, after it upheld a complaint under the good taste and decency standard about language and behaviour in a live interview on Newshub Live at 6pm. The interviewee was the father of Olympian Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, and was interviewed after her gold medal win. The interviewee used variations of the word ‘fuck’ in his response to questions. The Authority found the decision of the broadcaster to uphold the complaint, apologise and create guidance for live interview guests was adequate action taken given the nature of the breach. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency (Action Taken)...

Decisions
Yuan and Discovery NZ Limited - 2022-044 (18 May 2022)
2022-044

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that a Newshub Live at 6pm report into the crash of China Eastern Flight MU5735 breached the accuracy, fairness, and discrimination and denigration standards. The complaint was in relation to speculation the crash might have been due to a deliberate act from the cockpit. The Authority acknowledged, while the discussion on the recently occurring tragedy may have been distressing to some viewers, the words were clearly stated as commentary, analysis and opinion, rather than fact, and therefore the accuracy standard did not apply. No discrimination or denigration was found, and the fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Wilton and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-001 (25 May 2021)
2021-001

Warning: This decision contains language that some readers may find offensive. The Authority has not upheld a complaint that use of the phrase ‘thank fucking Christ’ in an interview segment during the Aotearoa Music Awards breached the good taste and decency standard. In the context, particularly noting the timing of the broadcast, pre-broadcast warnings and public interest in the relevant segment, the Authority considered the programme unlikely to cause widespread undue offence, or distress, or to undermine widely shared community standards. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
Serfontein and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-039 (21 June 2022)
2022-039

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging footage during a Newshub Live at 6pm item showing a rugby league player throwing up on the side of the field during a match breached the good taste and decency standard. Taking into account the context of the broadcast, the Authority found the footage was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
O’Brien and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-006 (22 June 2021)
2021-006

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm, covering the reactions of world leaders to the Capitol Hill riots in Washington DC, that referred to Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani as ‘Iran’s dictator’. The Authority found the description was not a material fact in the context of the item, and in any case the caption describing Mr Rouhani as ‘President of Iran’ reduced any risk of viewers being misled. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Right to Life New Zealand and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-054 (2 August 2021)
2021-054

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about coverage on The AM Show of proposed changes to safe zones around abortion clinics. The statements alleged to be inaccurate were comment, opinion or analysis, to which the accuracy standard does not apply. The balance standard did not apply as the separate news bulletins did not amount to a discussion; and in any event, differing perspectives from Abortion Rights Aotearoa and Voice for Life NZ were included. The fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance, Fairness...

Decisions
Anderson and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-122 (1 December 2021)
2021-122

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Newshub Live at 6pm report breached the accuracy and fairness standards by stating there was no evidence ivermectin works in treating or preventing COVID-19. The Authority found the accuracy standard was not breached as the statements were materially accurate and not misleading. The complainant did not identify a person or organisation said to be treated unfairly in the broadcast so the fairness standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Creedy and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-097 (26 October 2022)
2022-097

The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding comments made by the presenters of The Project about Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth. The presenters asked Kanoa Lloyd, who was at the Sydney premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder, about her experience interviewing the actors and ‘which one was hotter’ of the two. Lloyd said she embarrassed herself in front of the actors as she was talking about Hemsworth’s butt in the interview and that she preferred Hemsworth ‘just because I've seen the full Chris, and that's hotter to me’. The complainant considered the discussion was inappropriate ‘in our current #metoo society’. The Authority acknowledged societal issues surrounding sexual harassment and concerns regarding the normalisation of female-to-male sexual objectification. However, the comments in this instance did not go beyond audience expectations of The Project....

Decisions
Hoare and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-136 (9 March 2021)
2020-136

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about an item on Newshub Live at 6pm, in which Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall fund was described as ‘essentially his private slush fund’. The complaint was that this description was inaccurate and suggested illegal practices. In the context, given the public’s general understanding of ‘slush fund’, and the discretionary nature of the Duchy of Cornwall fund, the Authority found the use of the term was not inaccurate or misleading. The Authority also found this term did not undermine widely held community standards, and the balance standard did not apply. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Good Taste and Decency, Balance...

Decisions
Wills and Discovery NZ Limited - 2021-087 (13 October 2021)
2021-087

The Authority has not upheld a complaint under the balance, accuracy and fairness standards. It noted the complainant had not identified any inaccuracies or particular issues of public importance requiring balance. It also found the two interviewees were treated fairly and the interviews represented what it expects of the media in performing its role of scrutinising and holding to account those in power. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness...

Decisions
Udy and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-077 (19 October 2022)
2022-077

The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding comments made by Louise Wallace about overweight people, during a panel discussion on AM. The complaint was that the comments were in extremely bad taste and denigrating and discriminatory towards ‘fat women’ in particular. The Authority accepted the comments clearly had the potential to offend. However, noting in particular that the programme hosts challenged Wallace’s comments and made countering remarks, the Authority concluded that the comments did not meet the high threshold for finding the broadcast caused harm at a level that justified regulatory intervention or restricting freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration, Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
The New Zealand Forest Owners Association Inc and Discovery TV Ltd - 2020-111 (24 February 2021)
2020-111

The Authority has not upheld a complaint from the New Zealand Forest Owners Association regarding a two-part investigation into the impact of carbon farming and the Emissions Trading Scheme on rural communities, particularly around the East Coast. The items examined the shift from sheep, beef and dairy farming to forestry, particularly carbon farming, and interviewed locals as to their perspectives on the impact of this. The Authority found the period of interest relating to the issue discussed in the items was ongoing, and that balance was achieved with significant viewpoints presented in other coverage as well as within the pieces. The Authority also found they were not inaccurate as the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of material points of fact. Other inaccuracies raised were not material, or were technical, unimportant points unlikely to mislead viewers. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-131 (28 January 2021)
2020-131

The Authority did not uphold an accuracy complaint about a Newshub item describing a new solar paint product as potentially ‘160 times less’ expensive than solar panels. The statement was a technical point unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the item as a whole. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Summerfield and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-097 (27 October 2021)
2021-097

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that comments made by Dr Michael Baker and Hon Chris Hipkins during interviews on The AM Show were inaccurate and misleading. When asked (in separate interviews) whether there had been any severe adverse reactions to the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination recorded in New Zealand, Dr Baker stated he was not aware of any, while Mr Hipkins stated there had been ‘a handful of people’ and ‘a few’ that had experienced side effects in general. At the time of the broadcasts, there were 180 serious adverse reactions that had been reported, 0. 02% of the total doses administered. The Authority found that Dr Baker’s statements were comment, analysis or opinion to which the accuracy standard does not apply....

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